“Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again,” Trump said.
The former president made his announcement at his club at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, taking the stage with former first lady Melania Trump as the Lee Greenwood anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.” played.
The enthusiastic crowd of supporters chanted U-S-A! as the former president spoke about his comeback campaign, which has been several months in the making.
“You and all those watching are the heart and soul of this incredible movement in the greatest country in the history of the world,” Trump said.
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Trump recalled that he left office after the 2020 presidential election just as the United States was about to experience a “Golden Age” before President Joe Biden took office.
He recalled his policy achievements during his four years as president and pulling the United States through a pandemic.
“Inflation was non-existent, our southern border was by far the strongest ever,” he said.
Trump also recalled his historic effort to place economic tariffs on China, which he argued angered Chinese leaders and maybe even inspired them to try to effect the election results.
“Many people think that because of this China played a very active role in the 2020 election. Just saying. Just saying,” he said.
Trump also referred to the relatively peaceful nature of world affairs when he was in office.
“China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea were in check. They respected the United States and they respected me. I knew them well,” he said.
Trump referred to the deadly explosion that took place in Poland just hours earlier, suggesting it was likely a rocket from the Russians that had landed over the border.
He criticized Biden’s leadership, arguing he was “leading us to the brink of nuclear war — a concept unimaginable just two short years ago.”
Trump described the country under the leadership of Biden as a “nation in decline” and a “failing nation” where Americans were experiencing “pain, hardship, anxiety, and despair.”
“Our country is being destroyed before your very eyes,” he said,
Under Biden, he said, the border had been invaded by migrants, illegal immigrants, smugglers, and criminals.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for the president of the United States,” Trump said.
The former president mentioned the midterm elections that fell short of a predicted “red wave” in Congress but celebrated the news that Republicans had taken back the House.
“Nancy Pelosi has been fired. Isn’t that nice?” He said.
He urged his supporters to get out and support Republican Senate candidate Hershel Walker in his runoff election in Georgia.
The president did not refer to any potential primary rivals during his announcement but cast his campaign as a pushback against efforts by the Washington establishment to draft another candidate.
‘The Washington establishment wants to silence us,but we will not let them do that,” he said.